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Method development and applications of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR)


   Department of Chemistry

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) is a spectroscopic tool used to study systems containing unpaired electrons. EPR has wide ranging applications from materials science and quantum computing to structural biology and (bio)catalysis.

Dr Alice Bowen’s group is interested in developing and applying pulsed EPR methods to extract important information about systems of interest. She currently has students working on projects using EPR to understand the structure of protein systems (collaborations with scientists in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology), designing and testing molecular magnets systems as potential candidates for the next generation of quantum information processing technologies (collaborations with the Manchester molecular magnets group) and developing Light induced Pulsed EPR methods. These projects all use Pulsed Dipolar Spectroscopy (PDS), a family of EPR techniques that allows the relative distance, and in some cases the orientation, pairs of spin centres containing unpaired electrons to be determined by measuring and interpreting the dipolar interaction between the spin centres. Future projects could also be based in these application areas but with the potential to expand into new systems also.

Projects in EPR can suit students from a variety of natural sciences backgrounds; e.g. chemistry, physics, biochemistry etc. and there is the opportunity to tailor the structure of a project to the interests of a student. The multi-disciplinary nature of EPR projects equips students with a wide range of skills. Typical projects in EPR will involve some laboratory work; synthesis of samples or preparation, purification and spin-labelling of proteins, EPR measurements and data analysis/computational simulation to facilitate understanding of the data acquired. Density Functional Theory (DFT) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations are used to help understand the structures of the systems studied.

Academic background of candidates

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or the overseas equivalent) in a related area /subject, such as chemistry, physics, biochemistry, materials science or natural sciences depending on the nature of the project. Candidates with experience in Electron Paramagnetic Resonance or with an interest in magnetic resonance techniques are encouraged to apply.

Please contact Dr Alice Bowen () for informal discussions before application so a suitable project can be designed and identified.

Web pages:

Alice Bowen: https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/alice.bowen.html

Manchester EPR facility (EPSRC funded national research facility for EPR): https://www.chemistry.manchester.ac.uk/epr/about/

Molecular magnetism group: https://www.molmag.manchester.ac.uk/


Funding Notes

This is a self funded PhD project for students with their own funding/scholarship. The fees are £32,000 GBP per year for overseas students and £11,000 GBP per year for home students in 2022-23.

References

1] Orientation-Selective and Frequency-Correlated Light-Induced Pulsed Dipolar Spectroscopy
Alice M. Bowen, Arnau Bertran, Kevin B. Henbest, Marina Gobbo, Christiane R. Timmel, and Marilena Di Valentin
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2021 12 (15), 3819-3826
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c00595
2] Light-Induced Triplet–Triplet Electron Resonance Spectroscopy
Arnau Bertran, Kevin B. Henbest, Marta De Zotti, Marina Gobbo, Christiane R. Timmel, Marilena Di Valentin, and Alice M. Bowen
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2021 12 (1), 80-85
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c02884
3] Conformational Flexibility of Hybrid [3]- and [4]-Rotaxanes
Selena J. Lockyer, Selina Nawaz, Adam Brookfield, Alistair J. Fielding, Inigo J. Vitorica-Yrezabal, Grigore A. Timco, Neil A. Burton, Alice M. Bowen, Richard E. P. Winpenny, and Eric J. L. McInnes
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2020 142 (37), 15941-15949
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c06547
4] Orientation Selective 2D-SIFTER Experiments at X-Band Frequencies
Bowen, A.M., Erlenbach, N., van Os, P. et al.
Applied Magnetic Resonance 2018 49, 1355–1368
DOI: 10.1007/s00723-018-1057-3
5] A Structural Model of a P450-Ferredoxin Complex from Orientation-Selective Double Electron–Electron Resonance Spectroscopy
Alice M. Bowen, Eachan O. D. Johnson, Francesco Mercuri, Nicola J. Hoskins, Ruihong Qiao, James S. O. McCullagh, Janet E. Lovett, Stephen G. Bell, Weihong Zhou, Christiane R. Timmel, Luet Lok Wong, and Jeffrey R. Harmer
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018 140 (7), 2514-2527
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b11056

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